As Young Americans’ Sense of Political Empowerment Skyrockets, They Give the Government a Failing Grade
In early March, MTV Insights and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs conducted the first wave of the “Youth Political Pulse,” an ongoing tracker of youth sentiments about political and social issues. This survey revealed quantitatively that American youth are deeply unhappy with the state of the US government, eager for change and looking ahead to the midterm elections in November.
Between then and the tracker’s second wave, fielded in late April, major political, social and cultural events took place, including the youth-driven National School Walkouts and the March For Our Lives on Washington. The results of this survey indicate a dramatic increase in 15- to 22-year-olds’ belief that they can affect what the government does.
In spite of this substantial increase in empowerment, MTV/AP-NORC saw little change in other measures. Levels of anxiety and anger surrounding the future of the country continue to be high, while excitement remains low.